Photo contest seeks community’s ‘visions’

BY JILL KASSANDER, SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH LIGHT

The St. Louis Jewish Light announced their upcoming Visions of Judaism photo contest beginning on the first of February.

“Each of us connects to Judaism in our own way,” said Sheri Sherman, who is the chair of the Visions of Judaism Committee. “This is a wonderful opportunity for each individual to bring an artistic touch to the emotional expression of their Judaism.”

There will be three categories for entries: youth age 12 and under, young adults ages 13 – 18 and adults over 18. The first place winner in each category will receive a $300 gift certificate. Winners will be announced at a major Kaleidoscope Israel community event in May. Kaleidoscope Israel, which is being coordinated by the Central Agency for Jewish Education, is organizing the community’s year-long celebration of Israel’s 60th birthday.

The winning photographs and photos of merit will published in the Light and will also be on display from May 16-23 at Plaza Frontenac. Other submitted photographs may also be published in the Light. Judges for the contest will be local professional photographers: Kristi Foster, Lisa Mandel and Joel Marion.

“This photo contest is a wonderful way to wind up the 60th anniversary of the St. Louis Jewish Light and help kick-off the Kaleidoscope Israel celebration for Israel’s 60th year of independence,” said Milton Movitz, president of the Jewish Light’s Board of Trustees. “The Light engages us not just by providing the news, but by connecting each one of us to the larger St. Louis Jewish community.”

St. Louis Jewish Book Festival director Marcia Evers Levy brought the idea of a photo contest to Diane Gallant, one of the chairs of Kaleidoscope Israel, in conjunction with the upcoming Festival appearance on Thursday, Jan. 31 of Israeli photojournalist David Rubinger and co-author Ruth Corman of Israel Through My Lens. Gallant, who is also a board member and third vice president of the Jewish Light, took the idea forward and brought it to Movitz and Light CEO Andrew Polin.

“It is a real natural for the Light,” Gallant said.

The decision to have the theme of the contest about visions of Judaism rather than a direct connection to Israel was to make sure the contest would be open to the entire community, she said. “Not everyone has been to Israel or will be there in the next few months,” Gallant said.

The broad based theme offers the opportunity for every Jew in the community to participate. It is “truly across the board”.

“The theme excludes no one and is truly all encompassing,” Gallant said. “I can’t tell you what your Judaism means to you; you can’t tell me what it means to me; it is an internal, emotional feeling. Maybe it is the beauty of the sunset or a picture of a bubbe — it is your connection to Judaism, what inspires you. It is a very personal thing.”

The contest is open to all ages. Black-and-white or color photos must be submitted by the original photographer. There is no cost to enter the contest. Each entrant may submit up to three photos: old or new. The photos must be 8 X 10 printed photos. Do not mat photos. Deadline for photo submissions is April 1. Photos should be sent to: Visions of Judaism Photo Contest, St. Louis Jewish Light, 6 Millstone Campus Drive, Suite 3010, St. Louis, MO 63146. The contest is open only to Missouri residents. Entry forms will be published weekly in the Jewish Light. Professional photographers, employees of the St. Louis Jewish Light, immediate family members of board members of the St. Louis Jewish Light and members of the contest committee are not eligible to participate.

For more information contact St. Louis Jewish Light assistant editor Mike Sherwin at 314-743-3665.

Published Jan. 30, 2008

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